Edible Coating

 Edible coatings are consumable films, which enable supporting structures and protective layers on food surfaces. By selection of suitable matrices and incorporation of functional additives food quality changes by moisture transfer, oxidation processes, respiration, and loss of volatile flavors or microbial growth can be reduced or even prevented. Various raw materials are suitable for the development of edible coatings: hydrocolloids based on proteins of animal or plant sources (e.g. whey, soy, corn, legumes) or polysaccharides (e.g. cellulose derivates, alginates or starches), lipids (e.g. waxes, shellac, fatty acids) or even synthetic polymers (e.g. polyvinyl acetate) [1]. Their selection depends on the requirements on barrier properties (water vapour, oxygen, and carbon dioxide), mechanical strength, gloss and durability. Examples for functional components could be antimicrobials (e.g. organic acids, fatty acid esters, polypeptides, essential oils), antioxidants (e.g. ascorbic acid, oxalic acid, cysteine), texture improvers (e.g. calcium salts), aroma or nutraceutical compounds (e.g. vitamins).    

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